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Safely Prosperous or Really Rich: Choosing Your Personal Financial Heaven by Howard Ruff

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Chapter 13

Surprising Ways Rich People Get Rich with Leverage

All Really Rich people I know use several kinds of leverage, including some you never heard of. Unlike buying stocks on margin, the way they do it lowers their risk.

Archimedes the Greek, usually given credit for the discovery of the principle of the lever, once said, “Give me a big enough lever and a place to stand, and I could move the world.” He understood that a lever was a tool for multiplying your strength beyond its natural limits. He also knew that the bigger the lever, the greater the increase in strength.

Unfortunately for the uninformed, the lever can be another cliché, a two-edged sword. Used unwisely, the wrong kind of leverage not only can multiply your upside, it can work with equal efficiency on the downside and can increase your risk.

Most people who think they understand leverage think it applies only to the use of borrowed money to buy stocks on margin (dangerous) or using a mortgage to buy a home or investment real estate (safe). My father is my Exhibit Number One on the dangerous side of leverage (see Chapter 11), but his story doesn't invalidate my premise that if you want to be Really Rich, leverage is critical to your get-rich program.

Remember, a lever is only a way to multiply your strength. There are three forms of leverage that count, and you should use all of them wisely: money leverage, people leverage, and time leverage. I defy you to show me a rich person who didn't use at least one ...

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